The transfer portal is still a relatively new aspect in college sports, but its impact is being felt across the country — especially in college football — and Arkansas football is no exception.
In fact, the Razorbacks have had 25 scholarship players enter the portal this cycle, which began in August. That is believed to be tied with Texas A&M for the most in the FBS.
Some of them are more notable than others, with several moving on to other Power Five schools and a few dropping down to the Group of Five or FCS levels.
Best of Arkansas Sports has been tracking all of the movement this offseason and by our count, six of the scholarship transfers have yet to land at a new school.
Of the 19 who have so far joined a new team, eight will continue their careers at another Power Five program and nine will remain in the FBS, but at a Group of Five school. The other two ended up in the FCS ranks.
Here’s a breakdown of where each player ended up and their depth chart outlook at their new school…
2022-23 Arkansas Football Scholarship Transfers
P Reid Bauer — Memphis
A former walk-on who eventually earned a scholarship, Reid Bauer beat out numerous punters brought in by multiple coaching staffs and quietly put together a very solid career with the Razorbacks. He ended his career with a 42.01-yard average, which just edged out Sam Irwin-Hill for seventh all-time in UA history.
Bauer will likely be remembered for the pair of fakes he pulled off during the nine-win 2021 season, which helped him win the Peter Mortell Holder of the Year award, but he should also be remembered as one of the most loyal Razorbacks ever to transfer out of the program.
With the Razorbacks signing Max Fletcher to a scholarship, it wasn’t surprising to see Bauer hit the portal after they split time this season. He’ll play his final season of college football at Memphis.
“I will always be a Hog,” Bauer told Best of Arkansas Sports. “The future is bright for the Razorbacks. I will cherish my time in that uniform.”
At his new school, Bauer is the presumed frontrunner to become the Tigers’ starting punter because they must replace Joe Doyle, who exhausted his eligibility this past season.
S Simeon Blair — Memphis
Another former walk-on, Simeon Blair didn’t see the field during his first season at Arkansas, but steadily saw his role increase from special teams contributor to rotational player on defense to part-time starter and finally to full-time starter and team captain this year.
The Pine Bluff native actually led the Razorbacks in defensive snaps played this season despite struggling. Pro Football Focus gave him an abysmal 51.2 overall grade and credited him with seven touchdown passes allowed, the most in the SEC.
Although he could have returned as a sixth-year super senior in 2023, Blair opted to enter the transfer portal following the Liberty Bowl and will play his final season where his Arkansas career ended: at Memphis.
While the Tigers return a pair of starting cornerbacks, safety appears to be wide open because of the graduation of Quindell Johnson and the transfer of Ladarian Paulk. Considering his experience in the SEC, despite his struggles, Blair would be a prime candidate to fill one of those spots.
DB Anthony Brown — Purdue
One of two high three-star defensive backs who signed with the Razorbacks in the 2022 class, Anthony Brown did not see the field on defense or special teams this season. He did, however, draw headlines when he and teammate Myles Slusher were arrested for disorderly conduct in November. Brown was the 10th scholarship defensive back to leave the program.
Not long after entering the transfer portal, Brown committed to Purdue. The landing spot makes sense because former Arkansas defensive backs coach Sam Carter recently left Ole Miss to take the same position with the Boilermakers. Carter initially recruited Brown for the Razorbacks.
S Jalen Catalon — Texas
When the Razorbacks signed Jalen Catalon in the 2019 class, former head coach Chad Morris mentioned him in the same breath as Vince Young. He obviously played a different position, but that’s just how highly he was thought of coming out of high school — despite an ACL injury likely causing him to fall in the recruiting rankings.
Still a four-star recruit, though, Catalon got notable playing time in only one game as a true freshman thanks to Morris infamously botching the new redshirt rule. Under new coach Sam Pittman, he burst onto the scene and earned first-team All-SEC accolades, with some comparing him to legendary Arkansas safeties Steve Atwater and Ken Hamlin.
However, season-ending shoulder injuries in each of the last two seasons contributed to him not really getting an opportunity to follow up that breakout season. When the second one happened in this year’s opener against Cincinnati, many assumed he’d declare for the NFL Draft this offseason. Instead, Catalon made the surprising decision to enter the transfer portal.
As if seeing him suit up for another school wasn’t bad enough, Catalon has committed to former SWC rival Texas. Assuming he’s healthy, there’s a chance for him to slot in alongside Jerrin Thompson and give the Longhorns one of the top safety tandems in the Big 12.
WR Jaquayln Crawford
A former four-star recruit who began his career at Oklahoma, Jaquayln Crawford was part of Sam Pittman’s first crop of transfers and had to sit out the 2020 season because of old transfer rules. However, those rules were loosened in time for the postseason and he was set to make his debut in the Texas Bowl against TCU before it was canceled.
That proved to be the closest Crawford came to receiving significant playing time with the Razorbacks. The speedster ended up getting beat out and likely would have been fourth, at best, in the pecking order of slot receivers this season had he stuck around. Instead, he entered the portal during fall camp and has yet to land anywhere.
DE Jordan Domineck — Colorado
In a surprising about-face, Jordan Domineck decided to enter the transfer portal just a month after announcing he’d return to Arkansas as a super senior. It’s a significant blow to the Razorbacks’ defense, as he is coming off a season in which he made 7.5 sacks, which tied for third in the SEC.
That turned out to be Domineck’s lone season in Fayetteville, as he spent the first four years of his career at Georgia Tech. He announced his commitment to Deion Sanders’ Colorado football program, where he’ll play with former teammate Myles Slusher.
Despite his success with the Razorbacks, it’s no guarantee that Domineck will start at Colorado because Sanders brought in quite a few edge rushers. In fact, he was one of three Power Five transfers, not to mention an experienced defensive end from the Mountain West and one who followed Sanders from Jackson State. Because of all the new pieces, it is one of the position battles to watch for the Buffaloes this spring, according to Buffaloes Wire.
DB Trent Gordon
A former four-star recruit who originally signed with Penn State, Trent Gordon figured to be an immediate contributor when he transferred to Arkansas. Instead, an injury limited him for much of 2021 and he found himself buried on the depth chart this year. It took numerous injuries in the secondary before he finally got some significant reps.
Gordon’s tenure with the Razorbacks ended when he was declared academically ineligible. He has entered the transfer portal with the hope of playing his final season of eligibility elsewhere, but he has yet to find a new home.
OL Marcus Henderson — Memphis
Despite being a highly touted prospect who committed on National Signing Day 2020 with plenty of fanfare, Marcus Henderson struggled to get on the field over the past three seasons. Even though he was a mainstay in the two-deep, he ended up playing just nine offensive snaps for the Razorbacks.
When it became clear that Beaux Limmer would slide over and play center in the Liberty Bowl in place of Ricky Stromberg, Henderson hit the transfer portal. News of his departure came just hours after Sam Pittman told reporters that he’d like to add another center via the transfer portal.
Henderson is the third former Arkansas football player to commit to Memphis, joining Reid Bauer and Simeon Blair. The move makes sense because he is from Memphis. While he ended up at center his final year in Fayetteville, Henderson was originally viewed as a tackle and could compete for a starting spot with the Tigers this year because they must replace both of their starters on the outside while returning their three interior starters.
QB Malik Hornsby — Texas State
One of the fastest players on the team, Malik Hornsby has always been known as a gifted running quarterback, but he’s been inconsistent throwing the ball. During his three seasons in Fayetteville, he ran for 307 yards and a touchdown while completing only 46.2% of his passes for 314 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
That inconsistency led to Hornsby getting a shot at wide receiver this season and walk-on transfer Cade Fortin surpassing him as the backup early on, only for Hornsby to eventually win the job back. He entered the transfer portal last offseason before withdrawing and returning to Arkansas, so it wasn’t particularly surprising when he was the first player to announce his departure following the regular season.
There had been some smoke surrounding Hornsby and Nebraska, even after the Cornhuskers signed Georgia Tech transfer quarterback Jeff Sims, with speculation he might make the full-time move to wide receiver, but he transferred down to the Group of Five level and will remain a quarterback. He landed at Texas State, which isn’t far from his hometown of Missouri City, Texas.
Arkansas native Layne Hatcher was the Bobcats’ starting quarterback last season, but he’s since transferred to Ball State. That opens the door for Hornsby to be the guy for new head coach G.J. Kinne — a former analyst with the Razorbacks under Chad Morris.
“As soon as we identified (Hornsby) as someone we wanted to go after, we pursued him hard,” Kinne said on National Signing Day. “Obviously, our pitch was what we’ve done with Lindsey Scott, what (Texas State offensive coordinator Mack) Leftwich has done with Cam Ward previously at Incarnate Word. I think he fits our offense for what we want.
“He’s going to bring a little bit of a different dynamic than Lindsey. Lindsey was a really good runner, led the Southland Conference in rushing, but I think Malik is even more of a dynamic runner than him. But we signed him because we think he can play quarterback. He’s got the arm talent.”
RB Javion Hunt — Abilene Christian
Part of an Arkansas recruiting class that featured three running backs, Javion Hunt was four-star recruit coming out of Oklahoma City according to ESPN, but he quickly found himself behind fellow 2021 signees Rocket Sanders and AJ Green on the depth chart. The emergence of Dominique Johnson last season, plus the addition of Rashod Dubinion this offseason meant he was fifth-string, at best.
With no clear path to playing time with the Razorbacks, Hunt opted to leave the team a few weeks into the season. He has since dropped down to the FCS ranks, landing at Abilene Christian. He is one of two Power Five running backs the Wildcats landed, joining Jay’Veon Sunday from Washington. It is the same school where former Arkansas wide receiver Kendall Catalon played his final year of college football last season.
“Being able to add both Javion Hunt and Jay’Veon Sunday to our offense will allow us to be very explosive,” Abilene Christian head coach Keith Patterson said on National Signing Day. “Both young men have great character, athletic ability and mindset we are looking for in our running back room. Each one has a unique skill set we think can add value in a dynamic way to our offense. We look forward to seeing how both can be productive this spring as we continue to develop the entire running back room.”
WR Ketron Jackson Jr. — Baylor
The first truly surprising transfer portal entry from Arkansas, Ketron Jackson Jr. popped up in the portal the day after Sam Pittman mentioned him getting an opportunity to play in the slot in place of Jadon Haselwood in the Liberty Bowl. He was in line to potentially be the Razorbacks’ go-to receiver in 2023.
Instead, Jackson ends his career with the Razorbacks with 21 receptions for 374 yards and four touchdowns. The former four-star recruit has announced he’ll continue his career back in his home state of Texas, committing to Baylor.
Even though the Bears return three of their top four wide receivers from last year, there is speculation that Jackson could still move into a starting role immediately because his 6-foot-2, 203-pound frame is not something they had at their disposal in 2022.
DB Khari Johnson — Boston College
Arkansas signed Khari Johnson as a late addition to its 2020 class. He was a two-star prospect from an unusual recruiting ground for the Razorbacks, as he was from Boston and played his high school ball in Connecticut.
Despite being lightly recruited, Johnson actually started a game as a true freshman thanks to injuries and was a versatile piece of Arkansas’ injury-plagued 2022 secondary who started three games this year. He entered the portal before the Liberty Bowl and has returned to the Northeast, where he’ll play at Boston College in the ACC.
The Eagles are losing four key contributors from their secondary, so Johnson should be able to compete for playing time this year. However, he wasn’t the only transfer addition for Boston College. It also added a pair of talented defensive backs from the FCS ranks who have impressive resumes.
RB James Jointer Jr. — Liberty
One of two running backs in the Razorbacks’ 2022 signing class, James Jointer Jr. turned down a late push from Indiana to stick with his home state school. However, he was buried on the depth chart and the emergence of fellow freshman Rashod Dubinion — not to mention the other players at the position — likely meant playing time was going to be hard to come by at Arkansas.
Jointer’s lone appearance came late in the blowout win at Auburn, when he rushed three times for 9 yards on five snaps. He announced his decision to leave the team the Monday before the regular-season finale at Missouri and has since landed at Liberty, which actually beat the Razorbacks this season.
Cracking the rotation at running back will be pretty tough for Jointer in 2023 because Liberty returns its top two rushers from last season — Dae Dae Hunter and Shedro Louis — who combined for 1,383 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Flames also added a transfer from Wake Forest, Quinton Cooley, who has 371 yards and four touchdowns in his career.
TE Trey Knox — South Carolina
Originally a four-star receiver, Trey Knox was highly recruited coming out of high school and chose to sign with Arkansas over offers from the likes of Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and several others. He made an immediate impact as a freshman in 2019, too.
However, after the coaching change, Knox’s playing time and production took a hit. Instead of transferring, though, he stuck it out and converted to tight end during the 2021 season. He had high expectations heading into 2022, but ended up catching only 26 passes for 296 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season.
Rather than declare for the NFL Draft or return to Arkansas as a super senior, Knox decided to enter the portal and ultimately landed at South Carolina. That destination makes a lot of sense for him because he’ll reunite with Dowell Loggains, his tight ends coach who is now the offensive coordinator for the Gamecocks.
It also made sense for Knox because South Carolina was in desperate need of tight ends after losing their top three from last season. Nate Adkins ran out of eligibility, while Jaheim Bell and Austin Stogner transferred out. That leaves the door wide open for Knox.
DT Taylor Lewis
Joining the Razorbacks as a late addition to their 2022 signing class, Taylor Lewis was in Fayetteville for only a couple of months before deciding to leave the program. He was a junior college signee out of the College of the Canyons, but announced his departure just as Arkansas was shifting from fall camp to preparing for the season opener.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 317 pounds, the hope was that Lewis would provide depth at a position that lacked it, especially after Taurean Carter went down with an injury at the end of spring ball. However, he was buried on the depth chart, spending most of fall camp with the third unit.
Lewis has tweeted about several offers, but all of them have since been deleted from his Twitter feed. He has taken an official visit to Jackson State.
DB Chase Lowery
After not appearing in a game as a true freshman last year, Chase Lowery was left off the 110-man fall camp roster as a redshirt freshman. The writing appeared to be on the wall for him, but he did try a new position when he joined the team at the start of the semester, moving to wide receiver. It didn’t go anywhere, though, and he ultimately left the team a few weeks into the season. Lowery seems open to playing defensive back or wide receiver at his next school, but he’s yet to find a new home.
DT Isaiah Nichols — Purdue
Another surprising departure, Isaiah Nichols started every regular-season game this year and has been a steady contributor over the past several years. In fact, he played more than 1,500 defensive snaps during his time at Arkansas — albeit while not being particularly productive in that playing time.
Instead of returning to the Razorbacks, Nichols will use his extra year of eligibility elsewhere by pursuing super senior opportunities in the transfer portal. He has since announced that he’ll finish his career at Purdue, alongside former Arkansas teammate Anthony Brown.
The Boilermakers needed help on the interior of their defensive line because both starters from last year transferred out and Nichols provides them with a one-year stopgap. Now implementing a three-man front under new head coach Ryan Walters, it’s expected that Nichols will at least split time at defensive tackle this year.
TE Erin Outley — North Alabama
When he signed with Arkansas in the 2021 class, he and LR Parkview teammate Landon Rogers became the first football players from the Little Rock School District to do so in 15 years. However, injuries severely hindered Outley his freshman year and he didn’t see the field as a redshirt freshman, either.
With a current true freshman in Ty Washington already ahead of him on the depth chart and more set to arrive in the 2023 class, Outley decided to enter the transfer portal and will now continue his career at the FCS level, landing at North Alabama. The Lions are led by first-year head coach Brent Dearmon, who spent time as an offensive coordinator at Arkansas Tech from 2015-17 and has extensively recruited the Natural State.
CB Keuan Parker — Tulsa
A high three-star recruit from Oklahoma in the 2021 class, Keuan Parker saw the field for just one special teams snap as a freshman. However, the coaching staff praised him during fall camp for improvements he made going into his second season and it sounded like he might have an opportunity to contribute.
However, it took numerous injuries in the secondary before he finally got an opportunity and he ended up playing 48 snaps in the BYU game. He followed that up with three snaps against Auburn, but that was all he played on defense during his two years in Fayetteville.
During the early signing period, it was announced that Parker had signed with New Mexico State. However, he has since announced he’ll instead continue his college career in his hometown, committing to Tulsa.
With the Golden Hurricane, Parker will have to compete with returning corner Kenney Solomon and fellow transfer addition Demarco Jones, who played extensively on special teams and cracked the cornerback rotation at Oklahoma State.
DB Myles Slusher — Colorado
The crown jewel of Sam Pittman’s first class at Arkansas, Myles Slusher flipped from Oregon to the Razorbacks during the early signing period for the 2020 class. He made an immediate impact in Fayetteville and played more than 1,000 defensive snaps over the past three seasons, including 15 starts.
Six of those starts came this year, when he battled a pair of injuries and a one-game suspension for a disorderly conduct arrest the morning after the Liberty game. He returned for the Ole Miss game, but ultimately quit — a word he disagreed with on Twitter — the week of the Missouri game.
He entered the transfer portal when it opened up and originally signed with Louisville, only to scrub the Cardinals from his social media a few days later and ultimately commit to Colorado and Deion Sanders. Defensive back is another position Sanders hit hard in the portal, but there’s still a good chance Slusher finds himself in the starting lineup in 2023.
OL Jalen St. John — UNLV
Another four-star recruit in that 2020 class, Jalen St. John flipped from Missouri to Arkansas in order to follow both Barry Odom and Brad Davis to Fayetteville. Despite being a heralded prospect, though, he struggled to find playing time beyond special teams.
St. John actually entered the transfer portal last offseason, but was allowed to return to the team. This year’s departure likely stems from his felony theft arrest the day before Thanksgiving, as he had been indefinitely suspended for several weeks leading up to his entry into the portal. Once again following Odom, St. John has committed to UNLV.
The Rebels return both of their starting guards, which is believed to be St. John’s most natural position, but they must replace their starting center and left tackle, so there could be shuffling — not to mention a new coaching staff could give him an opportunity to start.
DE Eric Thomas Jr. — Southern Miss
Although he played sparingly on defense, Eric Thomas Jr. carved out a role for himself on special teams for the Razorbacks. The 2020 signee did not redshirt during his three-year tenure at Arkansas, meaning he technically has three years to play two — counting the bonus year — at Southern Miss, where he landed after entering the transfer portal.
Former Arkansas defensive tackle Jalen Williams, who didn’t see the field at all during his lone year in Fayetteville, ended up starting and grading out well for the Golden Eagles in 2022, so perhaps Thomas could enjoy a similar breakout.
WR Warren Thompson
A top-100 recruit who originally signed with Florida State, Warren Thompson decided to reunite with Kendal Briles in Fayetteville by transferring to Arkansas as a walk-on. He earned a scholarship before his first season and quickly asserted himself into the wide receiver rotation.
Over the last two years, Thompson struggled with consistency, but did catch 31 passes for 482 yards and four touchdowns for the Razorbacks. He started five of the first 10 games of this season before deciding to quit with two games remaining in the regular season. He has since entered the transfer portal and will play his final season of eligibility elsewhere, but has yet to find a new home.
DB Jacorrei Turner
Originally from Atlanta, Jacorrei Turner was not particularly highly recruited out of high school. A mid-tier three-star prospect, his only other Power Five offers were from Boston College, Louisville and Rutgers. With the Razorbacks, Turner played only 32 defensive snaps — and 22 of them came in last year’s win over UAPB. He did contribute a decent amount on special teams, but didn’t see the field on defense this year despite numerous injuries in the secondary. He has not yet announced a new school since entering the transfer portal.
DB Zach Zimos — Louisiana Tech
Part of the Razorbacks’ highly ranked 2019 signing class, Zach Zimos was a four-star linebacker coming out of Texas. He didn’t stick at the position, though, and eventually converted to safety. Unfortunately, Zimos tore his ACL during the UAPB game last season. He returned to action this year, but was primarily limited to special teams.
Zimos has announced he’ll continue his career at the Group of Five level, committing to Louisiana Tech. It’s worth noting that his commitment graphic lists him as a linebacker again. It appears that the Bulldogs are returning their top three linebackers from last season, so cracking the rotation might prove difficult in 2023.
2022-23 Walk-On Transfers
LB Jackson Woodard — UNLV
Initially believed to be a scholarship transfer, Jackson Woodard was on scholarship for only the 2021 season and reverted back to walk-on status this season. He packed on about 50 pounds upon his arrival to Fayetteville and actually found his way onto the field as a true freshman and ended up playing 72 defensive snaps over the past three seasons, usually grading out well on Pro Football Focus.
His biggest role with Arkansas football was on special teams, as he was on four units this season and played a team-high 215 snaps in that phase of the game. Woodard waited until after the Liberty Bowl to announce his departure and has since committed to UNLV, following both Barry Odom and Michael Scherer to the Mountain West. It is believed that he can contribute immediately for the Rebels, especially given his familiarity with the system.
LS Francisco Castro — Holy Cross
DT Randall Dennis Jr. — Iowa Western C.C.
P Patrick Foley — UAB
LB Jordan Hanna
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